Events » Henry G20: A Conversation with Director Christine Brubaker

Henry G20: A Conversation with Director Christine Brubaker

Henry G20: A conversation about public perception, protest, and art in the time of COVID.

About this event

During the Luminato Festival and for a few feeks following, CSI Spadina’s laneway will be one of the Augmented Reality Sites of a new theatre play Henry G20

The play uses an app that brings Henry G20 to life through a 6-episode audio drama (PodPlay) and accompanying augmented reality experiences, accessed through a mobile app from your home, or at one of the Augmented Reality Sites in downtown Toronto.

Written by Christine Brubaker and Constantine X. Anastasakis and Co-commissioned and produced in association with Luminato Festival Toronto and The Bentway Conservancy Henry G20 is a story about protest, civil liberties, and conflict on the streets of Toronto.

Join us as we speak with Director Christine Brubaker about the play, it’s inspiration, and the experience of working to create and debut a theatre show in this time of COVID.

About the Play:

Writers Christine Brubaker and Constantine Anastasakis have freely adapted Shakespeare’s Henry V, replacing the battle between the French and English with the battle between Toronto’s citizenry and police. Chaos and clashes at the G20 Summit in Toronto drove challenges to civil liberties and the democratic process and led to the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

At the heart of the play is Henry, a young female grassroots organizer. As she leads crowds of protesters – the activists, the idealists, the unionists, the partiers, the families and civilians – into the fray of a downtown Toronto march, she and her compatriots encounter an unexpected battleground, never seen before on the streets of Toronto.

The Idea:

Director and Playwright Christine Brubaker conceived of this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V in 2014 at the Stratford Festival during her time in The Langham Directors’ Workshop. Brubaker was inspired to use the framing of Shakespeare’s epic battle to challenge the prevailing narrative around the G20 protests: of burning police cars and anarchic thugs.

She saw an opportunity to create a thrilling play that would move audiences and remind them of the other side of the story, marked by hundreds of complaints of police violence, grievous violations of fundamental Charter rights, and the arrest and detention of over 1100 people.